The Law of Tawbah

We can suppress the effects of any errors and mistakes according to the law of Tawbah that Allah has devised for humans’ honest mistakes. This cannot be done by begging from Allah which is against human character and value.

It destroys human dignity and self-respect. One has to do Tawbah oneself and erase the negative effects of wrong actions by positive effects of good actions. One has to go back to the point where the mistake was made and then act upon the correct way. This is the process of Tawbah which requires action, not begging and reciting forgiveness from Allah. This is what the verse (42:25) says:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَعْفُو عَنِ السَّيِّئَاتِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ

(42:25) – and it is He who accepts repen­tance from His servants, and pardons bad deeds, and knows all that you do.

You should tell these people that since the reasons have been explained to them clearly that if they leave the wrong path and adopt the right one, Allah’s Law of Requital would efface the ill effects of their erroneous ways. Allah knows about everything that they have done till then; what they are doing at present; as well as the results and consequences.

And further the Quran says:

وَيَسْتَجِيبُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَيَزِيدُهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ وَالْكَافِرُونَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ

(42:26) – and responds unto all who attain to faith and do righteous deeds; and [it is He who, in the life to come,] will give them, out of His bounty, far more [than they will have deserved], whereas for the deniers of the truth there is [but] suffering severe in store.

As per Allah’s Law whenever people who go astray accept belief in the truthfulness of His Laws and work righteously as laid down by Him, then as a reward for their efforts He bestows plentiful bounties and much more on them. However, those who continue rejecting His Laws and have no desire to leave their erroneous ways will have to face severe and terrible punishment.

The Quran explains here the requirement for the Taubah, and that is آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ – One has to have Iman in the law of Allah and then one has to take the proper action which balances the imbalances caused by missteps in the implementation of the divine program. But those who do not have Iman on the divine program they will suffer severe punishment no matter what they do to escape the consequences of their crime.

This can be explained via an example. Suppose someone is sick. So, the first thing is to believe that it can be cured. This is the first step, آمَنُو. Just by believing in the cure, the disease can’t be cured. The next step is to go to a doctor. The doctor will diagnose the root cause of the sickness and write a prescription. Then the person is supposed to buy the medicine and act on the doctor’s advice. This step is the وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ. One who does not believe in the cure will suffer from the disease.

Human Natural Limits

If something is good for humans, then it does not mean that one can overindulge. For example, water quenches thirst. But if one drinks huge amount of water then one will become sick. If one takes too much of a medicine beyond the prescribed limit, then one will suffer death.

The Quran says:

وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّهُ الرِّزْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَٰكِن يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ مَّا يَشَاءُ إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرٌ بَصِيرٌ

(42:27) – For, if God were to grant [in this world] abundant sustenance to [all of] His servants, they would behave on earth with wanton insolence: but as it is, He bestows [His grace] from on high in due measure, as He wills: for, verily, He is fully aware of [the needs of] His creatures, and sees them all.

It is also a Divine Arrangement that while the human beings can violate ethical values, they cannot go against the physical laws made by Allah. If this was possible, imagine what they could have done!

For example, His Law is that means of sustenance can be extracted from earth according to set measures. If this was not the case, sustenance from earth would have come out continuously, without any set standard or measure. It is thus possible that those who could have acquired possession of this abundant sustenance, may have created havoc in the world. But Allah is fully aware of everything about His people and keeps full watch over them! That is why Allah has set natural limits on humans.

Earth’s Sustenance for all Humanity for All Time

The earth has been providing sustenance to entire humankind from the beginning of time and will keep on providing until the end of time.

The Quran says:

وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا عِندَنَا خَزَائِنُهُ وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُ إِلَّا بِقَدَرٍ مَّعْلُومٍ

(15:21) – For, no single thing exists that does not have its source with Us; and nought do We bestow from on high unless it be in accordance with a measure well-defined.

Means of sustenance are abundantly stored in the earth but may be taken out only in due measure. For instance, We send moisture-laden winds and rain pours down from them. This provides water for our drink. It was not possible for us to have stored all that in the earth (56:63-74).

But humans are very greedy. They are allowed unlimited possessions of land by our religious priesthood. They suck the blood of workers who work in the field to produce harvest. But when rain does not come they get disappointed.

The Quran says:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُوا وَيَنشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ وَهُوَ الْوَلِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ

(42:28) – And it is He who sends down rain after [men] have lost all hope, and unfolds His grace [thereby]: for He alone is [their] Protector, the One to whom all praise is due.

By the same law, people become disappointed when rainfall fails; and they lose all hope. Then with the onset of rain, His benevolence is spread everywhere. It is in this manner that Allah's attribute of taking care of His creation, which is worthy of all appreciation, is manifested.

The important thing to note is that Allah spreads (يَنشُرُ) his nourishment everywhere. Allah does not want humans to beg from anyone because that will be against human dignity. Allah has conferred dignity to all humans (17:70). Even criminals should not be hated. One should hate the crime but not the criminals.

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